French nursery rhyme hero (the rhyme first attested in English 1810), earlier "a short, clumsy person of either sex" (1785), probably a reduplication of Humpty, a pet form of Humphrey. Compare Georgy-porgy, etc. Originally, humpty-dumpty was a drink (1690s), "ale boiled with brandy," probably from hump and dump, but the connection is obscure and there might not be one.
'It's very provoking,' Humpty Dumpty said, ... 'to be called an egg — very!' ["Through the Looking-Glass," 1872]
Who would linger by the fire, nor from toil an hour snatch
When villages play football in a merry monster match;
E'en a mere ale-drinking Saxon feels some fervour in his soul
As he watches and bets glasses on a drop-kick at the goal.
[from "A Lay of English Field Sports," by "Colonel Chasse," in The Sporting Review, June 1849]
1570s, "full of corn, pertaining to corn," from corn (n.1) + -y (2). Chaucer used it of ale (late 14c.), perhaps to mean "malty." American English slang "old-fashioned, sentimental" is from 1932 (first attested in "Melody Maker"), perhaps originally "something appealing to country folk" (corn-fed in the same sense is attested from 1929). Related: Cornily; corniness.
There's an element of truth in every idea that lasts long enough to be called corny. [songwriter Irving Berlin (1888-1989), in a 1962 interview]
"piece of bread browned by fire or dry heat," early 15c., from toast (v.1); originally as something added to wine, ale, etc. From 17c. in the modern sense as something eaten on its own with a spread. Slang meaning "a goner, person or thing already doomed or destroyed" is recorded by 1987, perhaps from notion of computer circuits being "fried," and with unconscious echoes of earlier figurative phrase to be had on toast (1886) "to be served up for eating." But other sources claim the extended sense and popularity is from the 1984 film "Ghostbusters."
mid-14c., "liquid measure equal to half a quart;" also "a vessel holding a pint," from Old French pinte "liquid measure, pint" (13c.), probably from Vulgar Latin *pincta (source of Old Provençal, Spanish, Italian pinta,Dutch, German pint), altered from Latin picta "painted," fem. past participle of pingere "to paint" (see paint (v.)), on notion of a painted mark on a vessel indicating this measure. Used elliptically for "pint of ale" (or beer) from 1742. Pint-sized "small" (especially in reference to children) is recorded by 1930; the literal sense is older.
type of dark-brown malty beer, 1734, short for porter's ale (1721), porter-beer, etc., from porter (n.1), said to be so called because the beer was made for or preferred by porters and other laborers, being cheap and strong, and it survived into 20c. largely in Ireland. However, as OED points out, "There is no direct contemporary evidence as to the origin of the name," to which Century Dictionary (1897) adds, "There is no evidence that London porters, as distinguished from London cabmen or London artisans, favored this sort of beer."
Use as a musical instrument is attested from 1886 in jug-band (American English) "musical ensemble in which the bass line is carried or augmented by a player blowing on the open lip of a jug. "As a quantity of ale or beer, a jug is usually a pint" [Century Dictionary, 1902].
masc. proper name, from Latin, from Greek Alexandros "defending men," from alexein "to ward off, keep off, turn (something) away, defend, protect" + anēr (genitive andros) "man" (from PIE root *ner- (2) "man"). The first element perhaps is related to Greek alke "protection, help, strength, power, courage," alkimos "strong;" and cognate with Sanskrit raksati "protects," Old English ealgian "to defend."
As a kind of cocktail recipe featuring crème de cacao and cream, Alexander is attested from 1913; the reason for the name is unclear.